Musings of a Bookworm - Salty and Shiney

I love getting new books for Christmas. I think it's because I tend to be a bookworm anyway, but it's just the best thing to get new books.

This Christmas my mom and dad got my a new series called "The Mark of the Lion" series, by Francine Rivers. It takes place in Rome about 70 A.D. If you are going on vacation or break, and you want a book series that captures your attention and won't let it go, I definitely recommend these books. I can hardly put them down. I'm on the second book right now entitled "An Echo in the Darkness", and I can hardly wait to find out what happens to the characters.

One thing that has particularaly struck me while I've been reading these books is the complete moral depravity of Rome during this time period. The books are fiction, but I have no doubt that the author really did her research. She includes many Roman terms and rituals in the books, and I have confidence that these books are a pretty accurate representation of the culture of that time.

The sins discussed in this book are truly appalling. Any disgusting and perverted thing you can think of seems to have been considered normal in the Roman empire, and not just normal, but encouraged. The moral darkness that is discussed in the book is somewhat disturbing.

It occurred to me as I read that our world today is in no better shape than the world I've been reading about in these books. I tend to be somewhat naive and sheltered (by choice - I shelter myself from alot that goes on in the world) when it comes to the sins in our society today. The world is just as disgusting and perverted today as it was in A.D. Rome, and is quickly getting worse.

Thankfully Francine Rivers does not leave the story in complete darkness - one bright light shines through in the form of a young slave girl named Hadassah who is a Christian. Hadassah strives to reflect her Lord and longs for the courage to tell others about her Savior.

I can relate to Hadassah. I want to tell those around me about my Savior, but something often holds me back from speaking plainly. Fear?

I always think back on those conversations with unbelieving friends and think of the perfect thing to say. Why I can't think of something to say at the time I don't know. It's frustrating, and I often feel like a failure when it comes to sharing the Good News of Jesus. Somehow I think if I'm supposed to speak the Lord will give me the words - but I think that may just be an excuse. How can the Lord tell me what to say if I won't even open my mouth?

I'm encouraged when I think that in "The Mark of the Lion" series Hadassah doesn't just share the Lord with others through her words; often it's through her actions. I don't feel like such a failure when I think that the Lord can still use my example, even when words escape me.

I know that my spiritual gift is not evangalism, but it's still something that I want to work on, that I long to get better at. With the Lord's help I think someday I will.

In these books, those around Hadassah could see that something was different about her. The Lord reflects through every Christian - the Lord uses us as the salt that keeps the world from rotting, the light that shines through the darkness. I'm going to try my best to be as salty and shiney as I can this year, and I give you all permission to remind me of that whenever necessary; and of course, to be salty and shiney with me!

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:13-16
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